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As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky























The Iconoclast

Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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by Dr. Bill Warner

Islamic doctrine about women is the same as it is on all issues—duality and submission. Dualism demands a worldview that everything is seen not as a unified whole, but as divided. The primary political duality is the division between kafirs (unbelievers) and believers. The primary internal duality is the division between males and females.

The principle of submission means that one must rule over the other. No surprise, the women must submit to the men. more...

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Posted on 10/17/2007 2:13 PM by NER
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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Line 49 of "A Song for St. Cecilia's Day" (given in a posting below) has the trees unrooted, and following as if in a trance  the music: "sequacious of the lyre."  It would be pleasant to think of Dryden having that word "sequacious" doing double duty. For if an allusion to the biggest tree on the earthly block (thus its unrooting to follow the music in Sir-John-Davies style even more impressive) slyly hinting at both  a local habitation  (far from London, in exotic America) could be detected, its "unrooting" would be even more impressive, and the power of the enchanting music emphasized. And the adjective "sequacious" might be taken to hint at a name for those otherwise unnamed (and therefore generic) trees -- to wit, the  Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum. But the "cold facts of the matter" have a chilling effect: the Giant Sequoia only came to the attention of botanists in 1833, and received its name, and its taxonomic Latin classification, years later.

Still, who can prevent us from reading in, and thereby enriching, our own experience of the poem? Certainly not John Dryden. So let's do it.  Let's misbehave.

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Posted on 10/17/2007 11:48 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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 A Song For St. Cecilia's Day

From harmony, from heavenly harmony,

      This universal frame began:

  When nature underneath a heap

      Of jarring atoms lay,

    And could not heave her head,

The tuneful voice was heard from high,

    'Arise, ye more than dead!'

Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry,

  In order to their stations leap,

     And Music's power obey.

From harmony, from heavenly harmony,

   This universal frame began:

   From harmony to harmony

Through all the compass of the notes it ran,

The diapason closing full in Man.

 

 

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

    When Jubal struck the chorded shell,

  His listening brethren stood around,

    And, wondering, on their faces fell

  To worship that celestial sound:

Less than a God they thought there could not dwell

    Within the hollow of that shell,

    That spoke so sweetly, and so well.

What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

 

 

    The trumpet's loud clangour

      Excites us to arms,

    With shrill notes of anger,

      And mortal alarms.

  The double double double beat

      Of the thundering drum

      Cries Hark! the foes come;

  Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat!

 

 

    The soft complaining flute,

    In dying notes, discovers

    The woes of hopeless lovers,

Whose dirge is whisper'd by the warbling lute.

 

 

    Sharp violins proclaim

  Their jealous pangs and desperation,

  Fury, frantic indignation,

  Depth of pains, and height of passion,

    For the fair, disdainful dame.

 

 

    But O, what art can teach,

    What human voice can reach,

      The sacred organ's praise?

    Notes inspiring holy love,

  Notes that wing their heavenly ways

    To mend the choirs above.

 

 

  Orpheus could lead the savage race;

  And trees unrooted left their place,

    Sequacious of the lyre;

But bright Cecilia rais'd the wonder higher:

When to her organ vocal breath was given,

  An angel heard, and straight appear'd

    Mistaking Earth for Heaven.

 

 

Grand Chorus



As from the power of sacred lays

  The spheres began to move,

And sung the great Creator's praise

  To all the Blest above;

So when the last and dreadful hour

This crumbling pageant shall devour,

The trumpet shall be heard on high,

The dead shall live, the living die,

And Music shall untune the sky!

 

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Posted on 10/17/2007 11:41 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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As promised I have an account of the 43 World Conker Championships from ONE WHO WUZ THERE.
She tells me that it was a beautiful day but that she has never known bad weather on that day.
As usual the event supported various charities for the blind. The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association were there in force and ran a display of how the guide dogs work. Visitors could be blindfolded and guided round the course by a trained dog.
The Northamptonshire sides the Witchmen and Pig Dyke Molly danced. Up to eight conker matches take place simultaneously. Teams included women dressed as bridesmaids, men dressed as tigers, the French (who got beat) and the HSE team who reached the quarter finals.
I am not what sure what pleased my friend more, the defeat of the French teams or her purchase of some pickled garlic and ginger fudge from the homemade produce stall.
Every year I say we will go with her and her family that weekend, and every year something gets in the way.
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Posted on 10/17/2007 10:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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We beat the French again. Sort of. From the BBC:


Winner Ady Hurrell said his strategy was to "hit is as hard as I can"

English sportsmen have completed a double over the French this weekend.

Ady Hurrell, of Whittlesey, Cambs, took the World Conker Championship crown less than 24 hours after Les Bleus were dumped out of the Rugby World Cup.

He beat John Ingram, representing France, in the final of the 43rd championships in Ashton, Northants.

Train driver Mr Hurrell, 36, needed just two shots to smash the conker of his competitor, a 54-year-old Dordogne antiques dealer.

Mr Ingram later admitted he actually came from Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, but had a lot of business in France.

Mr Hurrell said: "It was a great win last night and I hope the rugby boys go on to win the final just as I did."

Out of more than 300 entrants at the 43rd World Conker Championship, sponsored by the Institution of Health and Safety, 13 were listed as French.

This was not enough to make a full rugby union side but they met the same fate against the English as their national side in Paris on Saturday night, a spokesman said.

The championship has so far raised almost a third of a million pounds for charities for the blind.

It was sponsored the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health which wanted people to see that its inspectors were not "killjoys".

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Posted on 10/17/2007 9:31 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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I know this is the headline for a story on prohibited drugs, but I couldn’t help getting a mental picture of a small furry black and white creature with a worse than usual pong.
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Posted on 10/17/2007 8:42 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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The BBC has been rightly criticised here for its pro-Islam and anti-Israel bias. But now the face of BBC News is to change radically. You won't recognise it. From The Times:

Listen carefully to the next BBC radio news bulletin, for history has been made. Brainstorming by the corporation’s finest minds and detailed audience research has finally solved the question of where the word “news” should be introduced.

The change will affect news bulletins across all its radio channels. Stephen Mitchell, the head of BBC Radio News, explained: “Until last week a bulletin on Radio 4 would be introduced with the words, ‘BBC Radio 4, the news at two o’clock’. It would conclude with the words, ‘BBC Radio 4 News’.

“Now, however, we have changed the script slightly and you will hear ‘BBC News on Radio 4. It’s two o’clock’ at the start of the bulletin and ‘BBC News on Radio 4’ at the end.”

As more than 2,000 BBC staff await the news that they are to lose their jobs, they can celebrate a small piece of broadcasting history which will surely rank alongside the work of Marconi and Edison.

Mr Mitchell has assured listeners that the alteration “had not been made lightly”. He writes on the BBC’s editors’ blog: “We did audience research into the new script and people told us they were quite happy with this sort of wording. They felt it added authority and credibility.”

However, the listeners appear instead to have poured scorn on the rebranding. “The fact that anyone at the Beeb spent time contemplating this change makes me very angry,” wrote Kendrick Curtis in reply to Mr Mitchell’s blog. “What a waste of my licence fee.”

Seamus McNeill wondered: “How many high-level meetings were held to make this momentous change which has absolutely no relevance to the listener?” Simon Shaw added: “Why does this remind me of the scene in HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when the Galgafrinchans are reinventing the wheel on prehistoric Earth and their top priority is what colour should it be?”

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Posted on 10/17/2007 8:32 AM by Mary Jackson
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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Shi'ite Islamist political parties are imposing strict Islamic rules in the oil-producing southern provinces of Iraq and using their armed wings to create a state of fear, a group of tribal Shi'ite leaders said. -- from this news article

How can those who want to take their Islam just a little light (or "lite"), or diluted on the rocks of reality, compete with those who want the full thing, the real thing, as the Qur'an and Hadith offer it? Scriptural authority, and the example of Muhammad, uswa hasana, al-insan al-kamil, is with those who are for Islam and ever more Islam.

What is it that disturbs these Shi'a sheikhs about the "stricter" Muslims now running things? It surely is not the banning of sculpture or paintings of living creatures. It surely is not that they object to the worldview that demands uncompromising hostility towards Infidels, and describes a state of permanent war (though not always of open warfare) between Believer and Infidel. Surely it has nothing to do with the discouraging or punishment of free and skeptical inquiry that prevents science from developing in societies, or individual minds, suffused with Islam. No, what those Shi'a sheiks are complaining about are constraints that force certain kinds of dress on their women, that force certain kinds of behavior that, in the desert, as with the Bedouin, are relaxed, even possibly an objection to the rigorous enforcement of the ban on alcohol. They are, those tribal sheikhs, like frontier people, with the desert being the frontier. They are more ornery. They have their own codes. They move about, and the largest tribes are spread out across borders that mean nothing or little to them -- as with the Shammar tribe, that stretches from Iraq all the way into Saudi Arabia (and who, had they defeated the Al-Saud back in 1920, might now be running "Shammari Arabia"). That is what disturbs them.

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Posted on 10/17/2007 8:09 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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Part of the frustration stems from the fact that no candidate has articulated a strategy on Islamic jihad in all its manifestations. The public is sure about one thing: the Iraq war (bringing democracy to Islamic lands) is not a winning strategy.

WaPo: More than a third of the top fundraisers who helped elect George W. Bush president remain on the sidelines in 2008, contributing to a gaping financial disparity between the GOP candidates and their Democratic counterparts.

Scores of Bush Pioneers and Rangers are not working for any Republican candidate, citing discontent with the war in Iraq, anger at the performance of Republicans in Congress and a general lack of enthusiasm. More than two dozen have actually made contributions to Democrats...

"I have yet to get interested in any of them," he [Matt Fong] said. "I'm just not happy with the direction of our party. I think we have a huge credibility problem, which I have not seen any of the candidates show the ability to rise above." ...

"The Republican brand is not selling very well," said Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor, Bush Cabinet member and 2004 Ranger. "There are a lot of frustrated people. They are not seeing anybody who has sent them over the top." ...

"I have opted out for all the well-documented reasons that disaffected Republicans use," [Alvin R.]Carpenter said. "I'm not sure which primary I'll vote in. At the moment I will say I'm keeping my powder dry. It's the first time I'm really a bit confused about what I should be doing, or where the country should be headed." ...

John Weaver, a former senior adviser for McCain's campaign, argued that the fundraising dynamic speaks to a broader problem for the GOP.

"There is currently a lack of energy, a lack of enthusiasm, a lack of optimism about the near-term future of the party," he said. "If it doesn't change quickly, it's a leading indicator of what kind of problem we are going to have next fall."

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Posted on 10/17/2007 6:50 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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"this sounds like a win-win situation [a "two-state" "solution"] to me..."
-- from Muslim reader

No. The mere conference, even if nothing concrete comes of it, will once more have the Israeli government uttering such words as "Palestinian people" and expressing its desire that "the Palestinian people" have a "Palestinian state." And that utterance alone is bad, ahistorical, and damaging to Israel, and damaging as well to the entire Western world, for if that Western world does not come to understand that the war against Israel is a Lesser Jihad, a Lesser Jihad that cannot end, in Muslim eyes, until every bit of Israel falls again under Muslim domination, then the people outside of Israel, in Western Europe, will be less able to grasp -- will further delay the day of their grasping -- that they too face a Jihad, a Jihad conducted not so much through diplomatic pressures and economic boycotts and steady terrorism and intermittent wars, as the Lesser Jihad against Israel is conducted, but rather through the Money Weapon, Da'wa, and above all, that demographic conquest that proceeds inexorably, and that the governments and peoples of Western Europe appear not to grasp, appear not to comprehend, partly because so many in their elites are either hirelings of the Arabs, or ideological supporters of the Arabs and Islam, some on the left out of a third-worldism gone mad, as well as antisemitism -- now a feature of the left -- and anti-Americanism, and on the extreme right by two of those three impulses, to wit: those old standbys, the pre-existing conditions of antisemitism and anti-Americanism.

For its own sake, and for the sake of other Infidels, the Israelis must begin to understand Islam and what Islam means for all these negotiations and treaties. What it means is that negotiations and treaties are essentially worthless from the standpoint of the Infidel signer -- in this case, Israel. Only deterrence, that is both overwhelming and understood to be overwhelming, will keep the peace between Muslim and non-Muslim states, beginning with Israel.

That's what Olmert and Rice and others have to learn. It's not very difficult. But so far such understanding has eluded them.

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Posted on 10/17/2007 6:39 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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"One Swedish Muslim woman who lives just an hour-and-a-half drive from Vilks said she hopes to make good on the al Qaeda threat and slaughter Vilks like a lamb.

"I can do this in the name of Allah, and I will not fail. I could slaughter him in the name of Allah," says the woman who identified herself only as Amatullah.

She adds, "If I get the opportunity."
Dressed in a black burqa from head to toe and uttering death threat after death threat, the woman -- a wife and mother -- says she is defending her religion and her prophet if she manages to kill Vilks.

Amatullah has already been fined for issuing death threats. Still, she claims she will never stop taunting him."
-- from this news article

Swedish laws obviously are lacking. The behavior of this woman, and what it reveals about her attitudes and beliefs, show that she cannot possibly be a loyal citizen of the Infidel nation-state of Sweden, nor can she possibly understand its legal and political institutions. By mistake, she was awarded citizenship. It need not be forever. This Amatullah, and all others who reveal that they do not accept the laws of Sweden, the individual rights, including freedom of speech and similar rights, and who engage in death threats for which there is good reason to take seriously, have no business being citizens of Sweden. The legal mechanism whereby such people can be stripped of their citizenship (her single name makes me think that place is Afghanistan or Bangladesh), and then shipped back to country of origin, needs to be put in place by intelligent Swedes. There must be some.

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Posted on 10/17/2007 6:33 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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Persecuted author Ayyam Hirsi Ali said she was ‘touched and honoured’ by Denmark’s offer of protected residence but is choosing to stay in the United States.
On Sunday, the culture minister, Brian Mikkelsen, said Denmark would give the 37-year-old Dutch-Ethiopian author asylum. The offer was made under the provisions established by the International City of Refuge Network, where ‘free cities’ are established for writers whose lives have been threatened because of their publications.
The Dutch government rescinded its official protection of Ali at the beginning of the month, stating it was no longer a feasible undertaking with the author living in the US.
Ali said in an interview that it made more sense for her to remain in the United States. ‘I thank you with all my heart for the offer, but my home and my work are in the US,’ she said. ‘So right now I’m concentrating on securing the means for my safety here.’
Ali has worked at the Washington, DC-based think-tank American Enterprise Institute for several years.
She was given the Danish award Venstres Frihedspris in 2004 for her courage in speaking out against fundamentalism despite receiving death threats.
She said Denmark and its support of free speech deserved a special place in her heart.
‘When my security issues in the US are resolved, Denmark will be the first country I visit in Europe.’
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Posted on 10/17/2007 4:18 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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This is from the website All Headline News last week.
Manar Ammar - AHN News Writer
Cairo, Egypt (AHN) - An Egyptian teacher who wears the niqab, an outfit usually black and covers the entire body including the face and reveals in some cases, only the eyes, paid an unemployed man to wear the clothing and take her driving test. However, when the man showed up to take the test, traffic security officers noticed his shoes and suspected a man was underneath the clothes.
The man eventually cracked and confessed that the teacher paid him $120 to take the test for her. The woman, who had been waiting at a near by cafe, was arrested.
I read somewhere else that one of the reasons that the niqab is banned in some Egyptian Universities is to prevent men slipping incognito into the women's Halls of Residence.
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Posted on 10/17/2007 3:46 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Wednesday, 17 October 2007
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An Islamic center in the southwestern city of Ulm closed on Tuesday amid an investigation into whether the organization that ran it has been attempting to smuggle people into Germany, authorities said.
Ulm's Islamic Information Center has been under observation for years, amid suspicion it has harbored and recruited Islamic militants. Stuttgart prosecutors launched a formal investigation into the organization earlier this month, under allegations it tried to illegally bring foreigners into the country.
Police had searched the center's premises in September, confiscating documents that must still be analyzed, the prosecutors spokeswoman said.
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Posted on 10/17/2007 3:43 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Dictionaries can tell you a lot, or affect you, in all kinds of odd ways.  I have held in my hands a very special Webster's 2nd in which the wings of a certain butterfly on a certain page had been shaded in, or rather colored in, by the dictionary's celebrated owner, and the thrill of seeing that one hand-colored entry, in a vast work otherwise without a mark to be remarked -- I looked at every page -- remains vivid.

Today I was idling through my new copy of Hobson-Jobson (the previous one, also a Wordworth Edition reprint,  had been given to someone who at the time needed it more than I did), very likely subliminally prompted by the bizarre and comical performance of Okkidental Dalrymple, when I discovered, on p. 812, this late example of the use of the word "sarai":

 1850.--"He [the reader] will find that, if we omit only three names in the long line of the Delhi Emperors, the comfort and happiness of the people were never contemplated by them; and with the exception of a few sarais and bridges,--and these only on roads traversed by the imperial camps-- he will see nothing in which purely selfish considerations did not prevail."--Sir H. M. Elliot, Original Preface to Historians of India, Elliot, I. xxiii.

That told me something about Okkidental Dalrymple's Mughal emperors.  And that one passage made me want to find, and read, Elliot and Dowson's Historians of India, all eight volumes. A book, I suspect, that Okkidental Dalrymple has never read with the proper attention.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 10:12 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Here is Rice on the Sunnis and Shi'a in Iraq, and how they will simply have to "overcome" their 1300-year quarrel, because, you see, otherwise American policy in Iraq would not make sense. A posting from January 2007:

The Secretary of State recently stated that the Middle East will have to “overcome” the tendency to see things in Sunni-Shi’a terms. There are two things wrong with the statement of Condoleeza Rice.

The first is the o'erweening, history-ignoring idea that Sunni-Shi'a rivalries and hostilities can "be overcome." The Sunni-Shi'a split long ago transcended the initial quarrel over succession. Now there are differences in the organization of the Shi'a and Sunni variants of Islam: in organization (the power of the Shi'a ayatollahs and other Shi'a clergy has nothing similar in Sunni Islam); in ritual (the Shi'a Ashoura, with its emphasis on self-flagellation); and practice (the Shi'a shrines and visits to those shrines, so offensive to austere Sunnis, especially to the most austere of all, the Wahhabis of Saudi Arabia).

The belief that somehow deeply-held beliefs and attitudes can be "overcome" seems to approach all this as if it were a question of civil rights in the South. One of the silliest and most harmful aspects of American governments is the belief that many things are susceptible of change, or of change that will come quickly. "Let's have self-determination now" or "Let's end poverty the way Jeffery Sachs says we can" or "Let's just get right in there and reform Islam." A blend of naivete, ignorance, and arrogance, which yields a most unappetizing brew.

The second thing wrong with Rice's statement is that apparently she cannot conceive of why this Sunni-Shi'a split is a good thing for Infidels. She cannot conceive of why chaos and confusion and endless hostility between the two main branches or sects of Islam is something to be exploited, not to be deplored. It appears that American governments want always to take the side of this or that plausible group of Muslims. First, it was the Shi'a in exile who managed to woo and win so many in the American government with their tales of WMD (Chalabi and his group), and others who confidently predicted that once the Americans "liberated" Iraq they would be greeted, those Americans, with an outpouring of joy and presumably permanent gratitude that "would make the liberation of Kabul look like a funeral procession." It would cost, according to Wolfowitz and others, nothing like what it cost to maintain those sanctions -- possibly a few tens of billions of dollars. And then it would be over. A "cakewalk," wrote Kenneth Adelman (sometime purveyor of Shakespeare to corporations so that the tycoons and tycoonettes can apply "Shakespeare to the business world).

Many have in this farce, on all sides, in the government, and in the press, been weighted and found wanting.

Meanwhile, there's something just over here, freshly scribbled on this wall, that I'd like to show our rulers and our pundits:

"Mene, mene, tekel upharsin."

Do you think they'll be able to make it out?

Yet Rice is not the worst. She is far superior to others who preceded her. If she invites comparison with two former and still nattering-away National Security Advisers, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, Condoleeza Rice only gains by the comparison. But that should not be the point of comparison. She, and all others in the government, should be spending their days and nights studying Islam, studying not only the texts -- Qur'an, Hadith, Sira -- but how those texts are naturally received by, not all, but almost all, Muslims, and figure out on what side the textual authority lies. They should learn about taqiyya. They should learn about the history of Islamic conquest and about the subjugation of non-Muslims -- which is not only a matter of history, but can be seen today in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia (where the non-Muslims are to found only among the expatriate wage-slaves). They must learn what is so misleading about the phrase "moderate Muslim" -- misleading and unhelpful. They must learn to detect the plausible from the true, to discover the smyler with the knyf under his cloke, as Chaucer emblemized the figure of Treachery he found in Boccaccio, well in advance.

They must learn to understand it all, and to understand not only the texts and the history, but the other attitudes that naturally arise in Islam: aggression, violence, inability to compromise, susceptibility to the most primitive conspiracy theories, blaming of non-Muslims for all the ills that should rightly be attributed to Islam but of course cannot be, and so on.

These are the things she, and so many others, including all of the would-be Presidents now eagerly seeking our support, must learn. Now, not in five or ten years. Now.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 2:42 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Here's a previous piece on the only thing that will prevent a future Arab attack on Israel. Not a "Palestinian" state, which will merely offer headaches, and worse than headaches, for Israel, the United States, and the entire Middle East (even if the entire Middle East is full of people who will want that "Palestinian" state as a first step to removing the Infidel presence on holy Muslim soil). It is called "Darura" and that is a word that Condoleezza Rice, and Ehud Olmert (the worst Israeli leader in its brief history) should study, should ponder. But they won't. At this point, it's too much trouble. At this point Olmert will do anything to prevent himself from being indicted and winning temporary favor; at this point Rice, and Bush, will do anything to have what looks to the foolish (and there are many foolish) to be a "victory for peace" (it is rather an assurance of a future war) in the Middle East. They deserve each other. A marriage made in heaven. And who cares if the security of Israel is thereby permanently imperilled?

Darura

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Posted on 10/16/2007 2:38 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice does not understand Islam. At this point she apparently still must watch football games (we are always told that she is a fan of football -- it's designed to soften, to popularize, her image, one presumes), or practice the piano, or do those other things that the "multi-talented" "scholar of Russia" who "knows Russian" (her Russian is halting, as her one disastrous attempt to conduct an interview in Russian proved to Russian television viewers), and her specialty was not "Russia" but the Russian military, which made her, just like Paul Wolfowitz, someone untrained in, and unaware of, the influence of history, of culture, of their own particular culture and history, on people who, strange to say, do not all want to become little Americans and wouldn't know how to do so if one presented them with the possibility.

She has been foolish on Iraq, suggesting that the Sunnis and Shi'a will just have to "get over it" because -- well, because that is the only way the Bush Administration's grand plans for Iraq could ever conceivably be successful. But Sunnis and Shi'a will not "get over it." And what's more, the Muslim Arabs will not "get over it" when it comes to their absolute refusal to consider Israel as a permanent presence. An Infidel nation-state in the middle of Dar al-Islam? Impossible. If there is a chance to destroy Israel militarily, it will be acted on, and the likelihood of the Muslim Arabs thinking that such a chance will arise again will be much greater if that so-called "Palestinian" state comes into being, with all the control over invasion routes, and West Bank aquifers (why not just cause a famine in Israel by polluting or destroying or diverting those aquifers?), and with the demands that will soon be made, perhaps even within a year of any signing, for more more more -- and the West, and America, having pressured Israel so much, having thrown it to the wolves but convinced itself, as Rice has, that it is not a throwing to the wolves, but the very "best deal" that can be made -- the "best deal" for Israel is never again to be suckered into, pressured into, any conceivable "deal" with Muslims who are firmly fixed on the basic principle of Muslim treaty-making with Infidel states, the principle that such treaties are to be broken, and such breaking of them is not merely allowed but encouraged by the example of Muhammad in the first Muslim "peace treaty" -- that of 628 A.D., which he made with the Meccans at Al-Hudaibiyyah. That treaty stands for all time as the model of Muslim treaty-making with Infidels, including those who now live and attempt to stay alive in the Infidel nation-state of Israel.

Does Rice know this? Of course not. She has never read, and not a single person who advises her has read, the texts of Islam on such treaty-making. But why can't they simply get hold of the most standard and obvious works? Why can't they get a copy -- Fouad Ajami, the Majid Khadduri Professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, should be able to get his hands on a copy, and the Library of Congress is said to be well-stocked as well -- of Majid Khadduri's "War and Peace in Islam" where, if they look, they will find set out the Islamic doctrine as to treaty-making.

But she doesn't have time. And besides, it would raise so many disturbing questions. It would imply that all that effort, over so many years, by assorted dennis-rosses and richard-haasses and henry-kissingers and bill-clintons and william-rogers and tutti quanti, to use shuttle diplomacy, and negotiations, and handshakes on the goddam lawn, and smiles for the photographers, all of them ending, always, with some kind of further Israeli concession, and a further legitimizing, before the world's public, of the Arab Muslim Jihad (not least by legitimizing the very idea of a "Palestinian" people with its own history and own claims, when that people are merely local Muslim Arabs, identical in language, religion, and every other way to those on the other side of the Jordan, and to many other Arabs as well, for the "national" identity of Muslim Arabs is not important in the way national identity is to people in the Western world).

She's not able to learn beyond what she learned long ago. She seems intelligent by comparison with her boss. She's elegantly turned out. She's self-assured, because people defer to her, and those who don't defer to her are usually unwilling to demonstrate that they find her pretensions ridiculous. However, the nuclear-arms expert, David Kay, who had many dealings with her, described her as the "worst national security adviser" in the history of the country. And given that among the rivals for that crown are Brzezinski and Scowcroft, that is saying something.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 2:27 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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The invasion of Iraq made sense if indeed there was a legitimate and not a concocted fear that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons. Was that fear legitimate, or was it concocted? I used to think it was legitimate. I assumed that the way Saddam Hussein behaved -- with Iran, not the United States, in mind (for it was Iran that truly worried him, Iran's Islamic regime that he wanted to constrain) -- was enough to fool the American government. Now I'm not sure.

But if one had known that the American government entered Iraq not only to find and seize or destroy every WMD or disrupt every project that might conceivably lead to the manufacture of WMD (I hate such abbreviations and the ease of alluding to certain things that they make possible, but in this case I will yield), but for any other reason, one would rightly have withheld support. And when that other reason turned out to be big and naive and ignorant plans to bring "democracy" to "ordinary moms and dads" in Iraq, and to do so naively by holding a purple-thumbed election that would ratify, for non-Muslims and Shi'a Muslims (the Sunnis in and out of Iraq were enraged), one had every right to object. Of course, as it turns out, the removal of the regime of Saddam Hussein, no matter what the incidental details -- whether 150,000 men invaded, or three times that number -- made inevitable the transfer of power from Sunnis to Shi'a, and if only those who make policy could begin to identify Islam, or the Camp of Islam, as the enemy that needs to be weakened, and further understand why both sectarian and ethnic fissures that already existed in Iraq, and neither needed, nor have received, any encouragement from the Americans, will if the Americans would only get out of the way do a great deal to use up Muslim resources, men, money, and matériel, and ideally be a source for constant instability and Sunni-Shi'a hostility in such places as Saudi Arabia (the Eastern Province), Bahrain, Kuwait, Yemen, Lebanon, Pakistan, and in the communities of Muslims that have been created, alas, in the Western countries.

Again I repeat: was the Iran-Iraq War, that lasted for eight years, a good thing or a bad thing for Infidels? It was a very good thing.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 2:21 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Samuel Zwemer (d. 1952), an American scholar of Islam, and former editor of Moslem World, wrote the following in 1920 (in "Moslem World," Vol. 10, pp. 154-155):

“Its [Islam's] intolerance and persecuting spirit have been revealed within the past few years, the blood of a million martyrs testifying to the failure of Islam, its absolute failure to understand the words that open every chapter save one of their Sacred Volume: ‘God the Merciful and Compassionate’. A few years ago one of the leading Moslems of Baghdad wrote an article for a French journal entitled, The Final Word of Islam to Europe : ‘For us in the world there are only believers and unbelievers; love, charity, fraternity toward believers; contempt, disgust, hatred, and war against unbelievers. Amongst the unbelievers the most hateful and criminal are those who, while recognizing God, attribute to Him earthly relationship, give Him a son, a mother. Learn then, European observers, that a Christian of no matter what position, from the simple fact he is a Christian is in our eyes a blind man fallen from all human dignity.’…Can a religion which inculcates such principles make the world safe for democracy?"

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Posted on 10/16/2007 2:15 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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Debbie Schlussel writes in the New York Post:

October 16, 2007 -- JULIE Myers, the head of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), is set to deliver tonight's keynote address in Dearborn, Mich., to a group that honors lax judges - including ones who interfere with enforcement of our immigration laws. What's worse, the head of the group - the Michigan American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee - is a suspected former terrorist who repeatedly violated U.S. immigration laws, then used political ties to avoid deportation.

The venue: a place known to local cops and federal agents as "The Hezbollah Social Club." Yes, Dearborn, Mich.'s Bint Jebail Cultural Center is named after the village in south Lebanon that sheltered the terror group's chief, Hassan Nasrallah, during last year's Hezbollah-Israel war. Rockets are shot from Bint Jebail into Israel even today.

The Dearborn center has hosted many pro-Hezbollah rallies featuring fiery anti-Semitic, anti-Christian and anti-American speeches. (At one rally I attended last year, Haj Mohammed Turfe, the center's founding chairman, won raucous applause for saying he looked forward to Armageddon because "only a few thousand Jews will survive.") Federal agents tell me it has also been the site of gatherings of Hezbollah agents and money launderers.

But it's the man who's hosting Myers that has ICE agents aghast. The head of the Michigan ADC is Imad Hamad - who, while living in California, allegedly recruited, organized and fund-raised for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). More, federal officials fought for almost two decades to deport him.

Immigration officials believed they had solid evidence that Hamad had stayed in America long after his visa expired, engaged in marriage fraud to stay here and concealed his PFLP ties on various immigration documents. Surveillance videos showed him engaged in various activities for PFLP. But Sen. Carl Levin (D-Michigan) got the Clinton administration to end the fight to deport Hamad, and instead grant him citizenship

Hamad's recent behavior has also been interesting. He openly supports Hezbollah, Hamas and other anti-Israel terror groups. And federal official are investigating his close ties to LIFE For Relief and Development, a Muslim charity raided by both the FBI (in America) and U.S. troops (in Iraq). The charity gave millions to a group the FBI identified as Hamas' Jordanian operation; law-enforcement sources also tell me it's suspected of funding al Qaeda insurgents in Iraq.

It sends the wrong message to those who are trying to come to America the right way and abiding by our immigration laws.

Then's there is the event's purpose. The stated point of the ADC's "Judges Night" is to honor judges who go out of their way for the "civil liberties" of Arab defendants. One recent honoree had stopped ICE agents from deporting over 100 Muslim illegal aliens who'd allegedly been caught paying off an immigration official. Another honoree refused to allow ICE agents to testify in court on the terrorism aspects of a case of a man they stopped at Detroit Metro Airport carrying a fake bank check for $12 million.

That our nation's top immigration enforcer would attend an event hosted by a multiple immigration-law violator and terrorism supporter - an event that honors judges who make it harder for ICE agents to do their job - is a travesty.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 2:05 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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"Hugh has insisted all along that America could read the riot act to the Turks and that the Turks would then dutifully acquiesce in the creation of a Kurdish state. And let us not forget that this over-estimation of American power was postulated to take place under the following conditions...

1) in the midst of an American withdrawal from Iraq

The convoluted logic here is that just as our influence and credibility in the region would be waning rapidly, we'd be able to call the shots to Turkey and compel them to betray their own national interests

2) the Turks would agree to Kurdish irredentism and the re-making of territorial borders"
-- from a reader

On November 17, 2005 a post of mine included the following:

“Americans, in turn, are the only ones who can force an independent Kurdistan not to make territorial claims on the parts of Anatolia where the Kurds dominate. The Turkish government will have to listen if the American government insists that it do nothing to squash an independent Kurdistan. Will it necessarily obey? No. But it will have to factor into its calculations what it means if it permanently alienates the United States -- no favored-nation, no resupply of military equipment, no nothing. And Russia is so very close, and now the Russians control the supply of energy to Turkey.”

At the time, the very same reader who responds above, responded then, with a posting that showed that back in November 2005 he understood quite well – he apparently had misunderstood my previous postings on the subject –that I did not think the Turkish government would, without more, simply “acquiesce” to American demands. What I have been always argued is that it should not be beyond the wit of the American government to extract a promise from the Kurds to drop any territorial demands on Turkey, and cease to protect, if they now do, any Kurdish groups attacking Turkey. In turn, the Americans would take that guarantee made to the United States, the essential supporter of Kurdistan, without which it cannot have either independence or even greater autonomy, go to the Turkish government with that guarantee, and obtain Turkish acceptance, begrudging acceptance based on an intelligent understanding of the best way to limit Kurdish unsettlement in eastern Anatolia, nothing like the roll-over-and-play-dead acquiescence of Turkey as the reader claims I have suggested would be possible.

Here, for example, is what that reader above, when at long last he began to understand what I was saying, put up on November 17, 2005:

“Quite a measured and cogent response Hugh. Congratulations.
Particularly impressive because it lacked a reiteration of the original promulgation that the Turks would "aquiesce" to an independent Iraqi Kurdish polity.

And there have been many postings, repeating with variants and further details, exactly how I thought the American government could circle the Kurd-Turk-Arab-Persian square, or if you prefer a different geometry, perform what the American government apparently thinks is impossible, is equivalent to squaring the circle. Want of imagination, want of diplomatic finesse, fear of offending Turkey by proposing such an agreement, even though it can be presented as a way to diminish the legitimacy of any cries for “self-determination” on the part of Kurds in Anatolia (if they want to live in a state that embodies Kurdish national interests, they would no be free to move to that newly-independent Kurdistan; those who remain should be satisfied with being citizens of Turkey, given whatever autonomy is consonant with Turkish territorial integrity). But the reader above was hot under the collar, obviously, and quick off the mark with his bizarre presentation of my views. He doesn’t always pay attention. He doesn’t want to. It gets, sometimes, in his way, especially if he is interested in scoring points, and not thinking clearly about what is being suggested if it seems too complicated.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 1:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 16 October 2007
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"As to Louis Fisher, he is no expert in the US Constitution. Louis Fisher is a Budget Specialist."
-- from a reader

Louis Fisher may be a “budget specialist" – I have no idea why you call him that – but he is, most importantly, a specialist in the Congressional Research Service attached to the Library of Congress for the past 37 years. He focuses on the issue of constitutional law and public policy as these relate to the question of Separation of Powers. He is the author of many books and many articles, and among those books may be noted, in particular, "Constitutional Conflicts Between Congress and the President” (4th ed. 2007) and “Presidential War Power” (2nd 2004). Merely a “budget specialist”? Read his testimony. Or read the books of his that I have mentioned.

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Posted on 10/16/2007 1:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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